Smooth scrolling should be drafted and implemented for 12.04 LTS

Bug #868510 reported by Ingo Gerth on 2011-10-05
This bug affects 73 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Ayatana Design
Fix Released

Bug Description

Nowadays most devices use smooth scrolling. It has become a de-facto standard, which Ubuntu does not yet support. The basic rationale for smooth scrolling was well summarized in [1]:

* Looks more modern and professional,
* Allows the user to read while they scroll with the mouse wheel,
* In (for example) a Pidgin chat window the motion of a smooth scroll when you receive a message draws you eye: our brains are configured to respond to movement,
* Smooth movement is natural - jerky movement is not,
* Everyone else is doing it!

As a matter of fact, this bug is a long-standing issue and has been upstream since 2003 [2]! Even a patch has been written, which inexplicably was never included.

Questions on AskUbuntu [3] and a brain storm idea [4] which has not gotten much attention show how popular this feature is within the community.


Changed in gtk:
importance: Unknown → Wishlist
status: Unknown → Confirmed

I totally agree and filed a bug like this myself. the smooth scroll when clicking on the buttons of the ayatana scrollbar looks promising, but how long do we have to wait for it to be integrated into normal scrolling too?????

Ingo Gerth (igerth) wrote :

This bug upstream seems to deal with a similar, if not the same, issue.

It looks like good progress is being made.

Hell Pé (hellpe) wrote :

Also, there is this Phoronix post about xorg-server implementing smooth scrolling for the 1.12 version. Could this finally fix the GTK+ bug ?

As of 2012-03-08, I have smooth scrolling for touch devices (trackpads) in Precise.

Ingo Gerth (igerth) wrote :

Can you record a video as proof and attach it to this bug? You may use gtk record my desktop which you can find in the software center.

Ingo Gerth (igerth) wrote :

After Cassidy's comment I noticed that indeed I now also have smooth scrolling in *some* applications. But not even just in some, it can even differ for different panels of a single application. Try for example the update manager, of which I have attached a video.

I find it really curious that this report does not receive any feedback of the developers. Few things are as common a task when using a computer as scrolling. You do it all the time! It is part of the experience and lacks the attention it deserves. Also, why was there no announcement as to why there suddenly is smooth(er) scrolling in some parts of the desktop?

... see attachment.

I am currently writing from Ubuntu 12.04 beta daily and I am terribly pleased by what I see. But as Cassidy pointed out, it is not yet available everywhere. which part of the system offers this functionality? is it X or GTK+?

Rainer Rohde (rainer-rohde) wrote :

Smooth scrolling a la MacOS would be simply stunning.

On a side note, I do like the bouncy effect when scrolling in Unity 2D's dash, however, I am missing it from Unity 3D. What's the rational behind this?

It doesn't work with the mousewheel, just the touchpad... :(

On 12.04 beta up to date (unity 2D), smooth scroll never works with the mousewheel.

However, I found it works with the touchpad for:
- Update manager
- Nautilus
- System parameters
- Software Center

And doesn't work at all with:
- Synaptic
- LibreOffice
- Firefox
- Launcher
- Dash
- Evince
- Terminal

My concerns are:
- It should work for every default app at least;
- Even though it works with the touchpad in USC, it is painfully slow on my Samsung N310 and "greys out" the window constantly;
- It should definitely be available for Firefox, LibreOffice and Evince as those are apps where one would frequently read extent written material.

Ivan (trurl-master) wrote :

And sensitivity should be adjusted, currently tiny movements are too sensitive on a synaptic touchpad.
But the fact that smooth scrolling appears makes me happy :)
Thank you :)

CruelAngel (hendricha) wrote :

It exists, but it's barely noticable. I'm guessing the accelaration is to slow to it to be very noticable? Is there any way to adjust the sensitivity or whatever?

fred (flyingninjas) wrote :

I too would really like system wide smooth scrolling. Imagine it in apps like terminal, or google chrome, where reading is the entire app.

Here is a link to the question on askubuntu:

Changed in gtk:
status: Confirmed → Fix Released
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